I just put down a book and ran to my keyboard to process a thought from the author that caused an explosion in my brain. In it he begged the question of how we need to stop the pursuit of feeling needed.
As a person who I just now realize is needy about being needed this hit me like a baseball bat. I just now recognize I often tend to chase after pursuits that makes me feel needed. I don’t think I’m alone here and this temptation can be evident in our friendships, relationships, careers and can even plague our ability to be the kind of spouses we could be. This need to be affirmed in my filling the need; that if I fill voids I don’t have to address voids in my heart, mind and soul.
So I’ll ask you reader; do you live to be needed? I know that as someone who isn’t a parent that I might be asking a huge question that I can’t comprehend the depth of as someone who is/has raised their child. So that aside let’s chit chat.
What if constantly making ourselves needed is selfish and damages our hearts? Maybe it’s not about being valuable to others but is a matter of entitlement? Is it toxic to our relationships if being needed affirms in our minds the value other people see in us? Does it unjustly impose an unspoken requirement of others to constantly see how good we are? In myself I can recognize my toxic neediness of being needed in how I only desire to do good things if I get the affirmation that I am doing it right. It kinda stings to be honest about this, I truly do feel that I can altruistically enjoy being helpful but I know that if I don’t check myself my soul could become unwell by being needed out of ambition to fill the void.
Do you feel unloved when your friends forget your birthday? You get jealous of other peoples closeness to one another? You’re never appreciated? You resent loneliness? Are you often thinking of how unfair everything is? Your kids didn’t come over again this weekend when you wanted them to so bad? Maybe you’re in a place when you can begin to recognize how you can’t force your value on others and it’s time to stop being entitled to them needing you.
All of this ramble doesn’t mean checkout from what life calls you to take on everyday (or to take crap from people who diminish your value) but maybe to do it in such a way that you are simply adding value as good as you can. Always do good! Always love loving others! Always be motivated! Could you adjust your end goal for doing the right thing to not just be someone you would admire but rather to simply serve somebody else? If we all stopped needing affirmation to decide to be good what would goodness look like in this world? Do what you need to do not because it makes you greater in the world but because it’s what our humanity cries out for us to accomplish. You can do what’s needed without another soul seeing it be done.
When you’re doing a dang good job at being a spouse, parent, friend or employer you can stop needing to be patted on the back for it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not need affirmation as much as you do for your self esteem? What if you can see that you’re killing it at work not because your boss said so but because you know you went above and beyond on the job? What if you know that you’re a good parent when your toddler is throwing a demon fit not because they adore you always but because you’re keeping that screaming creature freaking alive when it would roll out into traffic? What if you’re being a good spouse not because they tell you everyday but you know that when they needed you that you were there to love them despite of all that went wrong?
Maybe I’m the only sitting on this bus of an epiphany and it all really is stinking simple! This need to be needed being said (or typed) aloud is hard to admit about myself. My hope is to encourage whoever needs to see within themselves the misaligned condition of their heart for why they do good and to consider steps toward being free of that nagging neediness to be needed.
Maybe you’re not needed and that’s alright.
Be well my friends,